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April 26, 2017

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LVMH to solidify hold on Dior

THE French magnate behind LVMH moved to incorporate Christian Dior into his luxury goods empire in a 12-billion-euro (US$13 billion) deal.

It’s the latest business coup for Bernard Arnault, who has expanded LVMH to include dozens of leading luxury brands — from high-end champagne and whiskies, to exclusive Louis Vuitton handbags, Hermes, Kenzo and Givenchy perfumes and Bulgari and TAG Heuer watches.

Dior Couture, launched in 1946 and seen as the pinnacle of Paris fashion, would be a major addition to the LVMH stable. Christian Dior saved post-war French fashion with his “New Look” and today the house’s Paris fashion week shows are among the most exclusive and extravagant of the season.

Under the terms of the deal, which is intended to simplify complex ownership structures, Groupe Arnault, primarily an investment firm, will make a cash-and-share offer for the minority of Christian Dior shares it doesn’t currently own in June. The deal values Dior at 260 euros per share.

After that, LVMH, which is also controlled by Arnault, will take control of the Christian Dior Couture high-end fashion house business for 6.5 billion euros.

The hope is that by combining Dior’s brands under one roof and simplifying internal activities, savings will be generated.

Insisting that there would not be a major upheaval, LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony said the Arnault family, “decided it would make sense to invest 12 billion euros of their private money” into further cementing their holdings.

“That’s a major decision and major commitment, and proof of faith and confidence for the future,” he said.

The companies laid out their hope that Dior’s fashion revenues and profit, which have risen in recent years, will be a “source of growth” for LVMH.


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